It’s nearly impossible to run a successful business in 2021 without having a strong digital presence. In fact, self-storage marketing now requires extensive knowledge of social media networks, search engines and how to leverage online tools to entice prospects. Though advancements in marketing technology present near limitless possibilities, the troubling reality for owners and staff is they must first become adept at digital literacy to run successful campaigns.
To effectively market a self-storage operation in this digital-marketing landscape, you must understand the significance of search engine optimization (SEO) and the benefits it can bring you and your business. Here’s some information to help you up your game.
With online rentals and contactless services becoming prevalent in the industry, self-storage owners and managers need to adjust to digital promotion across multiple platforms. Many understand there’s value in offering online rentals through a well-functioning website and marketing with consistency on social media, but that won’t necessarily increase traction and result in significant customer conversions unless you prioritize SEO as part of your strategy.
As one of the most vital tools in digital marketing, SEO affects where your website and its pages rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). When used correctly, it improves your ability to reach prospective renters organically as well as promote your brand, increase online visibility, drive more website traffic, and convert site visitors into tenants.
While SEO isn’t new, it can be underused and misunderstood by traditionalists who sometimes believe the best way to ensure good results from a marketing campaign is to ignore SEO completely. That’s a big mistake. When using best practices, it remains a vital component in your website’s ability to gain momentum.
You can begin to improve your online-marketing results by optimizing your website with on-page SEO. This refers to all the content on a website that can be adjusted and controlled. It includes written copy and keywords on individual web pages, URLs, images, headings, meta descriptions, and more.
On-page optimization is what captures customers’ attention and keeps their interest on your website. Research the most relevant keywords for self-storage facilities in your area, and study competitors’ websites to gain a better understanding of their content composition. Then, use that knowledge to improve and optimize the content on your own website. Keep in mind that on-page content must go beyond simple keywords. Use blog posts, video content and images on your site and then optimize them for SEO.
Fleshing out and optimizing your content plays a large role in how high your web pages rank with search engines. This naturally affects how many people see your website when they view search results. Websites that rank high are perceived as important and valuable by users. Though it takes time to decide on keywords, build content, choose images and write descriptions, the guaranteed increase in web traffic and customer conversions are well worth the effort.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free way to promote your self-storage facilities on Google Search and Google Maps, which makes it an extremely valuable tool for SEO. When customers search for self-storage, your GMB listing can appear in the top local-pack spots in the search results or as a knowledge-panel profile on the right side of the SERP. The listing includes your address, phone number, website, images, services provided and business description. It even displays your Google reviews.
Optimize your listing by first verifying that you own the business. To help you verify, Google will send a postcard containing a code to the listed physical address. When you receive the card, you enter the code in the online verification tool. After claiming your account, continue to optimize the listing by selecting a primary category and any others you prefer.
Adding a business description will also boost the effectiveness of your search-marketing campaign. It’s an excellent resource for enhancing SEO. When written correctly and optimized, it provides additional opportunities to draw business. When writing it, research and use keywords renters are likely to type into their Google searches.
You can optimize your GMB listing further by adding a few facility photos. Images are a great way to engage prospects and an excellent way to convey service offerings, customer expectations and brand identity. If possible, use high-resolution images because you want photos to be clear, not pixelated.
In addition, encourage tenants to add reviews, which increase your page ranking, influence renter decisions, increase customer trust and set brand standards. Finally, localize your GMB listing by including a local phone number. Ensure the address listed is the same as what’s displayed on your website and other platforms, including social media accounts.
Local Business Citations
Local business citations are any online mention of your facility’s name, address and phone number (NAP). In terms of SEO, these improve your search-engine rankings and help you appear more frequently in search results. The accuracy and consistency of your self-storage information across platforms tells a search engine how legitimate your business is, establishing a greater level of trust. Essentially, the more listings you have—along with the consistency of information—the better SEO-optimized your facility becomes.
In contrast, inconsistency across citations hurts search rankings and can confuse customers, so it’s important to keep all sites up to date. If your facility name or any of the NAP information changes, update all citations accordingly to maintain optimization.
Consumers expect self-storage facilities to have an online presence and want convenient ways to conduct research and rent a unit, which means SEO should be a cornerstone of your digital-marketing strategy. Without a strong showing in SERPs and improvements to online optimization, your competition will outrank you in search results and convert customers who could have been yours.
To capture more website visitors and convert more online traffic, think through your on-page content and user experience, and optimize your GMB listing and local citations. When SEO is done effectively and consistently over time, your storage facility will begin to outperform local competitors, increase reservations and move-ins, and ultimately generate more revenue.
Kodi Churchill is marketing manager and Russell Severe is marketing intern and digital-content writer for The Storage Group Inc., a digital-marketing firm that provides website development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, reputation management, software development and more. Churchill is responsible for the planning, development and execution of all content, email and inbound marketing. She also manages social media creation, company site updates and marketing software. Severe assists Churchill in the marketing department and is responsible for writing, developing and publishing content. For more information, call 407.392.2328.